Faik Aleskerov – Vladimir Prosviriakov

Aeroflot op-C Moscow,
Feb. 14, 2006

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 This opening is called the “Scotch.” It is a good alternative to the more famous Ruy Lopez (3.Bb5) or the Giuoco Piano (3.Bc4).

3…exd4 4.Bc4 White is choosing a gambit line instead of the traditional recapture with 4.Nxd4.

4…Bc5 4…Nf6 is another good choice.

5.c3 If White continues with 5.e5 instead, Black would respond with 5…d5 and counter attacking.

5…Nf6 If Black is greedy by capturing with 5…dxc3, White would get a very good game after 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Qd5+. Therefore, Black’s move is safer and better.

6.b4 This is a rare move. Usually White continues here with 6.cxd4 or 6.e5 instead.

6…Be7 I prefer to respond with 6…Bb6 maintaining the idea of answering 7.e5 with 7…d5.

7.e5 This is a logical move. Now if 7…d5, Black loses a piece as after 8.exf6 dxc4 and the Bishop on e7 will be lost too.

7…Ne4 8.b5 Now White is chasing the second Knight too.

8…Na5 Black not only moves the Knight away from the attack, but also targets White’s Bishop at the same time.

9.Bd3 The White Bishop also gets away from the attack (of the Knight on a5) and at the same time threatens Black’s Knight on e4.

9…Nxc3 Protecting the Knight with 9…d5 is a reasonable alternative.

10.Nxc3 dxc3 White is down two Pawns for the moment but clearly has sufficient compensation. Why? For various reasons: a) the Pawn on c3 is likely to fall soon if White chooses to go after it. b) Black’s Knight on a5 is out of play c) White has space advantage and a more active position.

11.Qa4 This is a powerful maneuver to swing the Queen over to the Kingside.

11…b6 12.Qg4 Now Black has a tough choice. What to do with the attacked Pawn on g7?

12…Kf8 If, Black plays 12…0–0 instead, White continues with 13.Bh6 with immediate material gain. Pushing the g Pawn up (12..g6) is playable, but it weakens the dark squares on the Kingside.

13.0–0 White finally puts the King in safety by castling while Black gave up that right with his previous move.

13…c5 14.Qh5 Bb7 15.Ng5 With such a nice attacking position for White, Black’s extra pawns are insignificant. White now threatens to checkmate (with Qxf7) and also to capture the Pawn on h7.

15…Bxg5 16.Bxg5 Qe8 17.Bf6! This is a pretty move, sacrificing the Bishop.

17…h6 Black is trying to prevent Qg5. If Black accepts the sacrifice, White wins quickly after 17…gxf6 18.Qh6+ Ke7 (or 18…Kg8 19.exf6 Qf8 20.Qg5+ and checkmate follows) 19.Qxf6+ Kf8 20.Qxh8+.

18.Rfe1 White is bringing another piece to the attack.

18…Qe6 19.Bf5 Qc4 20.Rad1 And finally the last piece also enters the action.

20…g6 Forking White’s Queen and Bishop. If Black captures with 20…gxf6 now, then 21.Rxd7 Re8 and 22.e6 with a winning attack for White.

21.e6!! This is a brilliant combination sacrificing the Queen. The other natural sacrifice 21.Bxg6 fxg6 22.Qxg6 is not as good due to 22…Qg8!

21…dxe6 Now the difference is that after the sacrifice on g6, the Black Queen no longer can retreat to g8 to defend. If 21…gxh5 White checkmates within a couple of moves after 22.e7+ Kg8 (or 22…Ke8 23.Bxd7#) 23.e8Q+ Rxe8 24.Rxe8.

22.Bxg6! Another powerful combination to destroy the defense around Black’s King.

22…fxg6 23.Qxg6 Rg8 24.Qxh6+ Ke8 25.Bg5 A practical move to stop the threat towards g2. However, even more precise is 25.Qh5+ Kf8 26.Bg7+ Rxg7 27.Qh8+ Rg8 28.Qf6+ Ke8 29.Rxe6+.

25…Be4 26.Rd6 Rg6 27.Qh8+ and Black resigned as after 27…Kf7 checkmate would follow by 28.Rd7. 1–0

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